Home maintenance is important to stay on top of year-round, but as the warm summer days end and the cooler temperatures move in, there are a few things we can do to prepare for the upcoming freezing months. From replacing air filters to insulating pipes, you and your house will be ready for the winter in no time.
During the summer months our air conditioners run nearly nonstop. With them cycling off and on constantly, air isn’t all that passes through it. To help with fresh air, we put air filters in to collect debris like dust and pet dander and hair. There are different recommendations on how often you should replace the air filter, but a good general rule is about every 2 months. If you don’t have pets you can sometimes wait longer, but air filters are so easy to replace, it doesn’t hurt to do it more frequently. Just check the size on the filter that’s already in place and head down to the home improvement store for a replacement. You may also want to consider getting your central air and furnace serviced before it gets cold. If they find something that needs to be repaired or even replaced, at least it won’t be snowing outside when you find out the furnace is on the fritz.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
As we run our space heaters in the winter time, smoke detectors become even more necessary. You shouldn’t leave your heaters unattended, but sometimes we forget and accidents happen. Smoke and even carbon monoxide detectors often get neglected. We install them and feel safer having them, but we forget they exist since we don’t hear them every day. It’s a good idea to go around and check all of the detectors in your home to ensure they are functioning properly. Even if you have one that guarantees a certain number of years, there is always a possibility it will stop working sooner. Smoke and carbon monoxide are silent killers, so it’s always a good idea to have these in the event of an emergency. They could save your life.
Tend to Your Pipes
The water pipes in your home can be very susceptible to freezing temperatures if they are not maintained properly. Even if you have a newer home, you should double-check your pipes before it gets too cold out to comfortably investigate. Check for any cracks and holes around your house that could allow cold air to slip in and freeze the water in your pipes. If you find any cracks or gaps as your investigating, seal them up with outdoor caulking, which you can get from your local hardware store. Not only will this help prevent frozen pipes, but it could also save you some money on heating costs. If you find exposed pipes anywhere in your house (typically in an attic or basement), try adding some heat tape and/or applying insulation. When it gets especially cold outside, you can take other precautions like making sure you keep your heat on at all times, open cupboard doors where pipes exist to allow heat in, and leave faucets dripping to help with water flow.
Preparing your home for the winter months while it’s still warm outside will make a big difference once the seasons change. And tending to these tasks early means you still have time to check on everything. Make the minor repairs as they come up and the major fixes if needed. Doing just a few simple things around the house will set you up for the winter. Replacing air filters, checking on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and quickly sealing up cracks on the exterior of your house will help ensure your home is prepared for the cold months to come.